Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/31/2012 -- BMI's Q312 Iran Metals Report examines the impact international sanctions are having on short-term domestic market trends as well as long-term investment outcomes.
The report examines how producers are dealing with restrictions on access to finance and the lack of hard currency and also explores the impact of the increasingly uncertain macroeconomic environment on domestic consumption and on the ability of producers and exporters to realise returns in the short term. The report also analyses the government's ambitious growth plans and questions whether it will realise these targets.
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In the first four months of 2012, Iranian crude steel output grew 5.2% y-o-y to 4.75mn tonnes (mnt), a slowdown from the 8.7% growth reported in 2011 but still an upward trend in an increasingly adverse situation. Nevertheless, the industry is failing to meet government expectations. According to government figures, output in the 2011/12 Iranian year was 12.7mnt, well below the target of 15mnt. Crude steel output is projected by the government to reach 48mn tonnes per annum (mntpa) by 2015 and 55mntpa by 2025. Iran's medium-term self-sufficiency in billet depends on securing financing for 10-12 meltshops currently under construction, which have a combined capacity of 4-5mntpa. With financing and hard currency in short supply as a direct result of international sanctions, BMI expresses grave doubts about Iran's ability to meet these targets.
Iran's aluminium production is targeted to exceed 400,000 tonnes in 2012 and 1.5mnt by 2022. Planned projects include Alumina Mine's 100,000tpa aluminium production project in North Khorasan, 276,000tpa South Aluminium project as well as the 375,000tpa Khuzestan Aluminium project.
Over the last quarter BMI have revised the following forecasts/views:
- BMI has, however, lowered its crude steel output forecast for 2012 14.3mn tonnes to 13.7mnt as a result of the slowdown in the crucial Chinese market, on which Iran is now heavily dependent for exports, as well as slower economic growth.
- We have retained our forecast for 2016 at 15.8mnt, although growth in output will increasingly be devoted to the domestic market with external trade, both in terms of exports and imports, likely to dwindle under a prolonged sanctions regime.
- International sanctions will affect aluminium producers more than steelmakers with their impact already being seen on aluminium consumers. The failure to reach full capacity over the past two years suggests that the aluminium industry is unlikely to experience substantial volume even if it manages to increase capacity.
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